About Human Biology

In 1998, Fred Hutch’s Cancer Biology Program merged with the Division of Molecular Medicine and an initiative in genetics/genomics to create the Human Biology Division. Since then, we’ve performed ongoing laboratory-based and computational research, driving the translation of research into life-saving treatments.

Researchers work across divisions to increase our knowledge base of genetic profiles and epidemiology. Our studies focus on breast, cervical, ovarian, prostate and esophageal cancers, as well as non-solid tumors and infectious diseases that influence cancers. The more we learn about the relationships between human biology and these diseases, the better we’ll be able to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer.

"We are at the dawn of a new age in understanding disease. We have new techniques, new questions, and the ability to manage larger data sets."

- Dr. Eric Holland

Our Leadership

See our Faculty & Labs>
Dr. Eric Holland

Director, Eric Holland, MD, PhD

Dr. Holland became director of the Human Biology Division in 2013. He is committed to keeping the scientific focus of the division diverse while growing solid tumor research at the center. As a practicing neurosurgeon conducting research in molecular biology and genetics, Dr. Holland is at the forefront of translating laboratory advances into advanced molecular therapeutics.

Dr Adam Geballe

Associate Director, Adam Geballe, MD

Dr. Geballe has a long history with the Human Biology Division at Fred Hutch and continues to support its scientists as associate director. Dr. Geballe’s current research focuses on the functions and mechanisms of genes encoded by large DNA viruses and how they promote viral growth by blocking host cell defenses.

Dr. Andrew Hsieh

Associate Director, Andrew Hsieh, MD

Dr. Hsieh joined the Division of Human Biology in 2014 and rose to full Professor by 2023. He took on this role to support the scientists and vision of the Human Biology ecosystem. Dr. Hsieh’s research focuses on understanding the mechanistic and cellular relevance of mRNA translation in physiology and cancer. He is also an attending genitourinary oncologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center focusing on prostate and bladder cancer patient care.

Shama Samant

Associate Vice President, Shama Samant

As Associate Vice President for Human Biology, Shama Samant oversees day-to-day and long-range strategic planning, as well as all operational, financial and human resources for the division.

Want to Work in the Human Biology Division?

Life in Human Biology

We’re committed to nurturing the scientific process while working across the continuum of research from basic to clinical, from infectious disease to cancer. Our scope is broad, but our relatively small size allows us to stay agile and be responsive to new ideas. To maintain a legacy of world-class research, our senior faculty are accessible to student scientists and mentoring is a priority.

Engaging Faculty

The Human Biology Retreat hosts a two-day retreate each year event this year for faculty members share their research interests and accomplishments. 

Collaboration is at the Foundation of Our Research

Our best work can’t be done in a vacuum, and the more opportunities we have to share our science, the greater the possibility we have for live-saving discoveries. Through groups like our Integrated Research Centers (IRCs) and the Seattle Tumor Translational Research (STTR), Fred Hutch supports collaboration at a structural level.

Immunotherapy IRC

The Immunotherapy Integrated Research Center (IIRC) creates a partnership across the Hutch in cell therapy, transplant immunology, tumor microenvironment, immune checkpoint regulation, immunogenomics, therapeutic vaccines and more, to develop the next generation of immune-based lifesaving therapies.

Pathogen-Associated Malignancies IRC

The Pathogen-Associated Malignancies Integrated Research Center (PAM IRC) combines research in infectious diseases, host-pathogen interactions, cancer biology, immunology, global oncology and immunotherapy to understand, treat and prevent cancers linked to infectious agents.

Translational Data Science IRC

The Translational Data Science Integrated Research Center (TDS IRC) works to conduct the research needed to grow the center’s data science infrastructure, support large-scale biological experiments, and create effective computational methods.

Seattle Translational Tumor Research

Fred Hutch and, UW Medicine researchers and physicians focused on bridging laboratory sciences and patient care formed a network to increase our understanding of solid tumors. The STTR provides a framework for transforming research into patient care.

Contact Us

Shama Samant

Associate Vice President

Linda Lew

Associate Operations Director

Jennifer Adams

Division Operations Administrator